FRANKLIN, Mass. — AYF Camp Haiastan has started construction on the upgrades to the Under the Trees and Cabin Circle with the intention to complete these projects by Memorial Day weekend. The new design will double the size of the Under the Trees area with room to seat 150 campers. New benches, an Armenian eternity symbol, landscaping and lighting will be part of the enhancement along with better drainage. The Cabin Circle will undergo beautification upgrades by widening paths and adding benches and enhanced lighting to the inner circle. All design work was done by Kyle Zick Landscape Architecture (KZLA) of Boston with inputs from the Camp Board, Infrastructure Committee and project stakeholders.
Haven Contracting Corporation of Westwood, MA was pre-qualified by the landscape architect and selected with the best bid. They began work in early March and plan to complete the project by Memorial Day. KZLA, Camp Haiastan executive director Kenar Charchaflian, facilities manager John Miller and John Mangassarian will be handling oversight for Camp Haiastan. Miller and Mangassarian led a team of volunteers, mostly from the Providence Men’s Club and a group from the Merrimack Valley, to do the demolition of the existing Under the Trees and Cabin Circle area. All of the memorial bricks have been carefully removed and stored during this construction phase. All memorial bricks will be placed as close to the original locations as possible.
The Camp Board of Directors earmarked the Under the Trees project in memory of one of its long-serving members, Mark Alashaian of New Jersey. The existing Under the Trees was built and dedicated in 1982 in memory of another New Jersey Armenian community member, Vaghinag Koroghlian. The updated project will be in their memory. The Cabin Circle project will be dedicated in memory of Regina Najarian of Wellesley, Massachusetts, who passed away last summer after a courageous battle with cancer.